News Coverage of the Terror Attack in Kenya Ignores the Obvious

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By Michael W. Cutler

Mike is a Senior Fellow with CAPS and retired INS Senior Special Agent. During his 30-year career with the INS he rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. He was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA and for 10 years was assigned, as an INS Senior Special Agent, to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force. He has testified at numerous hearings conducted by committees and subcommittees of the House and Senate and provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

He hosts "The Michael Cutler Hour" on USA Talk Radio Fridays at 7 p.m. (EST) and is frequently interviewed by broadcast media on various aspects of immigration issues, especially the nexus to national security.

The writer's views are his own.

September 27, 2013

On September 21, 2013, more than a dozen members of al-Shabab, a terrorist organization closely associated with al-Qaeda, launched a horrific terror attack on a mall in Kenya. The attack on civilians left dozens dead and dozens injured. Initial reports indicated that Americans and Europeans were among the terrorists.

As soon as the information about some of the terrorists being “American” was broadcast, reporters began discussing how America's malls and other such facilities in the U.S. might be vulnerable to terrorist attacks and what could be done to protect them.

Incredibly, not one discussion I watched ever focused on the issue of America's borders or immigration laws that could be America's first line of defense and last line of defense against the entry and embedding of international terrorists – if our borders were actually made secure. Security includes the processes by which visas are issued and inspections are conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors.

These are issues not discussed in the media or in Congress, even as the number of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program, which strips a major layer of America's security away, has recently been increased to 37. See my earlier analysis of how dangerous the Visa Waiver Program is at “Visa Waiver Program Endangers our Safety and Security.”

Perhaps the news organizations that have been cheering for “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” made a conscious decision to ignore the national security implications of failures to address border security and the lack of integrity to the visa process that were so clearly articulated in the preface of the “9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel:”

It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe ... that it must be made one.

The 9/11 Commission Report” noted:

Mayors in cities with large immigrant populations sometimes imposed limits on city employee cooperation with federal immigration agents. A large population lives outside the legal framework. Fraudulent documents could be easily obtained. Congress kept the number of INS agents static in the face of the overwhelming problem.

Finally, the 9/11 Commission Report discussed how visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud facilitated the entry of terrorists into the United States and made it easy for them to embed themselves to hide in plain sight.

Notwithstanding these facts, so-called sanctuary cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York continue to ignore immigration laws with impunity. Most recently, Fox News reported on pending legislation in California:

California lawmakers move to shield illegal immigrants from deportation

Here is an excerpt from the report:

The so-called Trust Act would bar police from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on a variety of cases. Proponents say the bill is narrowly focused and only applies to those illegal immigrants arrested for minor crimes.

Ignored is that the goal of terrorists is to maintain a low profile so that they can go about their preparations for a terrorist attack. They do everything that they can to not get arrested prior to an attack. Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182 provides a list of the categories of aliens to be excluded from the United States and makes the purpose and importance of our immigration laws crystal clear. In point of fact, the Immigration and Nationality Act was enacted to prevent the entry of criminals, terrorists and others whose presence would threaten national security, public safety and the well-being of Americans.

Actions and statements of the administration, members of Congress and politicians around the United States run contrary to the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. News agencies also are guilty of ignoring the fact that America's borders and immigration laws are supposed to be our first line of defense and our last line of defense.

It is not “Anti-Immigrant" to be Pro-American!

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